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Back to Enjoying Living in Antibes

By Jemma:

It’s all about the ants.

I’ve never forgotten the advice from one of my earliest writing teachers. You can go on a glorious picnic – the food, conversation, and the weather all perfection – but you have no story until the ants arrive. They invade your blanket and carpet your food, and despite blue skies and the best of friends, it’s the ants that create the story.

Here’s our problem: We’ve returned to Bellevue, our summertime home in Antibes, and we have no ants.  Okay, a fair few six-legged creatures scurry in their habitual line across the exterior stucco wall, transporting who knows what to who knows where.

The good news is after several years of visiting the French Riviera during the summer months, there were no ants. Owning a maison secondaire (second home) anywhere requires logistics in terms of ongoing maintenance, security, utilities and general upkeep. Add to that equation an older home, renovations, and the Côte d’Azur climate Bellevue has doled up a few surprises over the years. Read The not so Glamorous Côte d’Azur Life of Home Upkeep.

So, this summer when Jemma and family arrived and there was no home repair issue it was a pleasant homecoming.

Continue reading here. A contributor blog post by French Lessons Blog.


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Jemma Antibes

Jemma Antibes

Jemma was born and raised in the US Midwest. A banker by trade, she slogged away at a Swiss investment bank in the UK and South Africa before moving – for decent spaces of time, anyway – to the South of France. At a similar stage, she also moved to the right side of her brain as a writer. She has published articles in Maclean’s, SuperYacht World, and various travel and university presses.

At this point Jemma lives mostly in Canada, but she spends the whole of every summer in the Côte d’Azur town of Antibes, from where she writes her blog French Lessons. Now (rather unbelievably) in its ninth year, the site is a summertime gift to readers, each note aiming to capture a snapshot of the remarkable, real life along the French Riviera. Jemma still holds her MBA from the University of Chicago, though, and for this reason she apologises if France’s quirky economic system captivates her attentions more frequently than perhaps it ought.

When not engrossed in things French, she is – not in any particular order – taking a stab at writing a book, making music, performing motherly duties, expanding education in bits of Africa, promoting Canadian writing, and travelling off-the-beaten-track: 84 countries, and counting.

You can reach Jemma through her blog site at French Lessons.

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